Lot 435. An extremely rare yellow-ground and green-enamelled 'Dragon and Phoenix' double gourd vase, mark and period of Jiajing (1522-1566); 23.6 cm, 9 1/4 in. Estimate 80,000 — 120,000 HKD. Lot sold 100,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's
the lower bulb of square form, the exterior incised and painted in green enamel against a yellow ground, depicting dragons and phoenix amid clouds below a ruyi band, the upper bulb similarly decorated with lotus scrolls below plantain leaves, the white base inscribed with a six-character mark in underglaze blue.
Note: Brightly coloured porcelains with vivid designs on a contrasting ground were a speciality of the Jiajing reign, when many new colour combinations were experimented with. The decoration on the current vase in yellow and green is extremely rare, and no other example appears to be published in any museum or private collection.
The form of the current vase, consisting of a square lower bulb and globular upper bulb, exists on larger blue and white vases, such as one from the Palace Museum, Beijing, but with a different design of medallions enclosing the Eight Immortals on the lower section, and crane among clouds decorating the upper section, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White with Underglazed Red (II), Beijing, 2000, pl. 85.
Sotheby's. Chinese Art including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family Collection, Hong Kong, 30 Nov 2017